Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dr. Oz and the GMO Debate Part 3

In the first part of The Dr. Oz Show Segment on GMO foods, the discussion began about non-GMO food labels and a short education of what GMO actually means. In the second part, Dr. Oz began a discussion with three expert panelists discussing the viewpoint of both proponents and opponents to the GMO debate. Here, we will take a lok at the third and final part of the segment.

Dr. Oz Takes the Conversation International and Then, Back to Labels
Genetically Modified Foods, Pt. 3 (The Dr. Oz Show video clip is 4 minutes and 11 seconds long)

Dr. Oz continued to probe the one proponent of GMOs on his panel, Dr. Pamela Ronald, by taking a look at the international community. He raised a pretty good question.
Why are GMO crops banned in a number of  European nations?
image from The Dr. Oz Show originally aired on 12/7/2010
This is the point where I always start to take sides. Perhaps I am being naive in some way, but why would an entire country ban a farming practice if it was safe? Dr. Oz asked this question - I just wished some scientist from one of these countries could have been there to answer. All we can do is speculate.

And then Dr. Michael Hansen, piggy-backing off of Dr. Ronald's statements about using the best science for determining GMO safety in part 2, piped in and said what someone needed to say during this entire debate:
"One thing that should be pointed out is that we do need more science... in this country... the FDA does not require any extra safety testing at all."
This, of course, had me thinking, again, about that pesky Food Safety Bill and whether or not it truly was up to snuff. I am going to have to go back into that one and see if there are any things I would like to speak out about before it makes it to the House of Representatives. 

To finish the segment, the conversation turned back to labeling and what the benefits are and what the drawbacks might be. They each can be summarized quite simply. The labeling of GMOs benefits us with informing us, we then have the opportunity to use our "capitalist vote" to decide what types of food we wish to support and, ultimately, consume. The drawbacks of any labeling system are two-fold; (1) who does the labeling, and (2) the limitations of the labeling process. Even the Non-GMO Project we looked at in Part 1 of this series, clearly states on their website that they can not guarantee that the products labeled non-GMO are 100% GMO free.So we are left, once again, making a leap of faith, only this time, when armed with a label the leap should be over a puddle, not the Atlantic Ocean!

My Final Thoughts About The Dr. Oz Show's Panel on GMOs

First of all, I am extremely happy that Dr. Oz devoted a segment of his show to this topic. I wish it were the entire episode, but there was a lot of info in this half of the show, regardless. When I first found out about this show, I was excited at the prospect of hearing Dr. Pamela Ronald's viewpoints, but, due to lack of time I feel my curiosity is not yet satiated. I think, due to this fact, Tomorrow's Table is going to be on my reading list. I am also curious about Dr. Michael Hansen's work and will be on the lookout for more word from him, as he seems to be a rational man opposed to GMOs, rather than an extremist opposed to GMOs (I believe there is a significant difference).
For now, personally, I am still going to try to maintain a GMO-free diet when possible on my search for sustenance. I have two chronic conditions, one of which is idiopathic (unknown origin) in nature and I don't believe I have the body or the time to waste waiting for science to decide which way to go. So, unless some GMO seed is going to cure Intracranial Hypertension or eradicate Crohn's disease from my family tree, I'll take my genes unmodified, thank you.

Resources, Links & Further Info:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews

Usability Testing /

usability studies by userfly

Action Alerts RSS Feed | Food & Water Watch